Fighting COVID-19 and malaria in Asia: the role of the private sector
“In developing countries, businesses have a disproportionate role in driving various initiatives and various business practices. Businesses do not just serve customers, staff and shareholders – they serve communities. [When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived] we started to think about what we can do for broader communities. It’s not just a nice thing to do, but it is actually essential.”—Melvyn Pun, CEO & Executive Director of Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd.
A recent Private Sector Roundtable brought together leaders from leading Asian businesses and foundations to discuss how the private sector is contributing to malaria elimination and the fight against COVID-19.
The team at M2030, who hosted the roundtable, took away three key points from the discussion:
- We must not lose focus on malaria. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is understandably everyone’s priority, but we can’t lose focus on eliminating other deadly diseases like malaria. We are so close to eliminating malaria in Asia, but could easily lose this progress if we don’t keep up the fight.
- Investing in public health helps both malaria elimination and COVID-19 response. Eliminating malaria and fighting COVID-19 require similar approaches in many ways, and investments in strong health systems will help us fight both diseases.
- The private sector has an important role in solving public health problems like malaria and COVID-19. Solving complex problems like malaria and COVID-19 requires help from all sectors, including governments, civil society and the private sector. This is why leadership from the M2030 Champions Council and M2030 businesses is so important.
The M2030 Champions Council was formed by M2030 in April 2019 together with the World Economic Forum and APLMA. Consisting of CEOs, founders and executive directors from the private and public sector, members drive corporate leadership to end malaria within their sphere of influence.
A video message played during the event from Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and is available here.
A short clip summarizing Yoma Strategic Holdings’ M2030 campaigns for malaria elimination and COVID-19 also played during the event, and can be viewed here.
Read the full summary and roundup of key quotes from the event here.